Photograph © Bill Carslake (Cairngorms 2018)
Listen here to the premiere given by Farnborough Symphony Orchestra on 22 January 2022, recorded by Haresh Patel.
A Finzi Scholarship project. Inspired by Bill’s solo camping trips looking for Mountain Hares in Scotland. For orchestra (2fl,2ob,2cl,2bn; 4hn,2tpt,0,0; timp incl. stones; strings). There is a version in progress for violin, cello, piano and clarinet. Bill also wrote a travel essay about the process of travelling and composing in the Cairngorms called Disco Ball – Mountain Hare: composing in the Cairngorms.
Over the course of his two trips in the Cairngorms Bill connected with these elusive animals. He also saw golden eagle and red deer. Disco Ball is inspired by the space, the movements of the hares themselves and his experiences in this large subarctic area. The second movement in particular reacts to the power of the wind.
(The Mountain Hare, Lepus timidus, is a survivor from the last ice age. It is related to Arctic and Greenland hares. It thrives in the northern belt stretching from Scandinavia to Siberia. There are isolated communities in the Alps, Ireland and Scotland. The Brown Hare, Lepus europaeus, arrived in Ireland and the UK thousands of years later.)